Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves is one of my favourite foods, either with ground meat stuffing or with vegetables.
Since we are at the last week of Lent, and we are eating vegetarian food I prepared this dish and I like to share it with you, as I know several readers love stuffed grape leaves, also this is a healthy meal for vegetarians. Its healthy full of nutrition, and the stuffing is very similar to the Tabbouleh salad, instead of using burghul we add rice.
The Leaves must be rolled firmly because the vegetables shrink after they cook; if the leaf is loose it will not hold and falls apart. As for the meat I suggest that we roll the leaves loosely giving the rice the space to expand and soak the liquid. It will stay firm and juicy.
Vegetable Grape Leaves are mostly served as part of a mezza, also can be served as main course.

Ingredients : 4 main course servings , or for 15 appetizers

1 large bunch of parsley
1 package of mint (if you have a bunch similar size to parsley use half)
1 bunch of green onions
2 pounds or around 5 tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses
Dash of cinnamon
Around 3/4 of good olive oil
1cup of water
Around 1 pound of frozen grape leaves
Or a store bought jar


Pick the parsley & mint and wash several times. Clean the green onions and wash as well. Drain the vegetables completely from water before finely chopped.
Add the dressings and spices and mix well. Use a fine sieve and drain the juice and keep it aside. I have a grape tree in my garden, and I pick my own leaves in the summer, wash them, then freeze them in small freezer bags, they are very tender, they dont require lots of cooking as soon as the rice is cooked the food is done.

boil water and cook the leaves for several minutes specially if you are using store bought jar they are tough, (separate the leaves one by one and drop them in water, this will be easier for you to work with later) they need several minutes in hot water, for hand picked leaves one minute is more than enough to soften them, strain them in a colander to drain before using.
These are my step by step photos to help you during preparation, it will easier if you clean all the veggies the night before and left in the fridge in a strainer. the second day you continue
with the rest.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Grape Leaves

Make sure to pick the vegetables and wash them several times
chop the vegetables and defrost the grapeleaves before boiling them

Using a fine sievestrain the liquid and keep in a clean bowl,
after the leaves defrosted cook couple of minutes in boiling water,drain on a colander

if the leaf is a torn add another one to cover
If its small add another one in the center to make it larger to hold the stuffing

add the juice and enough water to cover the leaves

add a plate to keep rolls in shape during cooking

taste if rice is cooked

this meal is served at room temperature, any time !!!!!!!!! Yummmy
I wish you are here to smell the aroma.


Anonymous said...

This is one of my absolute favorite foods. My mom makes it with rice and beef also but its definitely one of the best dishes I grew up on.

Arlette said...

Hello Anonymous

I agree with you, this is one of the best dishes. I did post earlier the recipe for the grape leaves with meat, giving the readers the two options in case they are interested to try.
thanks for your visit and I hope to see your comments again.